New review by the renown Martin Colloms just out at "HiFiCritic"
where Silver Sotids were awardeded the "Recommended by HiFiCritic" badge.
"...There was a clean clarity to the overall performance of an unmistakeably high-resolution sound.
Focus was particularly good, and the midrange colorations sometimes encountered with certain
'over-designed' cables was quite absent. Detail retrieval was high, the bass lines were crisp,
and this cable sounded quite upbeat with good musical timing, and therefore remained consistently entertaining...."
I can't post the entire review, you have to buy the mag on line at www.hificritic.com
Or email me at email@example.com
Another great review, this time from Mono & Stereo Review.
"A fabulous interconnect turns out to be shockingly affordable"
Hey, I'm not complaining.
Just hit the link on the menu and read the rave. (And I'm not even advertising there!)
On Cable Break-in
I've been asked about cable break-in for Stager Silver Solids interconnects on several occasions.
I've gotten several different answers for that question from different users.
A few, whose comments I posted, found that no break in was necessary.
The cable should sound fine from minute one. Improvements, if any, are generally very subtle.
However, I did get this email from a customer who had a different experience:
Well, what an experience. I plugged them into my (very, very) modest computer system, having previously used
a crappy pair of IC's I had hanging around, and immediately noticed a difference.
For the worse.
This is what people lauded?? Sounded like an anemic duckling getting run over by a bus...thin, brittle, bassless...what were people
Seeing them, I didn't think any break-in would be necessary...especially on my "system," (I use that term bashfully). But what the hey. I left them on, squawking away in their death throes.
Next day, I said "hmmm...better." Still no body, but plenty of bloom, and the treble portion was good. Very good. So on they went.
Second day, after about 60 hours, I thought..."gees, are these the same IC's?"
Third day, after about 80 hours, I thought "please don't change any more...you're perfect!!" Plenty of body, low noise floor, presence,
palpability...you name it. Instead of a "bonk," I hear fingers hitting the wood of the guitar. In short, I am hearing the master tape. Poorly recorded CDs sound
like crap, as they should.
Well recorded CDs sound sublime, as they should.
And for the umpteenth time, NO they are not "bright." They are correct, spot on, perfect
Are Stager Silver Solids directional?
No. Music signals are by nature AC - Alternating current, therefore there is no direction favored in the conductors. (This applies to line and speaker cable)
There are directional unbalanced line level cables, but that's when a separate coaxial ground is connected only to one end - which should be at the source, for maximum noise filtering.
The signal itself remains non-directional.
Twisted wire has a self shielding property. Steve Lampen at Belden Wire has been saying for a very long time that a shield is not
necessary for digital and line level analog audio as long as the wires are tightly twisted. Not having a shield does not pass noise
as long as the cable is kept a few inches away from power cables or crossed at about a 90° angle if necessary for minimal exposure.
But not having a shield does give the cable a lower capacitance, resulting in greater transparency, detail, and high-frequency extension.
One customer, whose remarks I posted in the users' comments page, has a nice mobile system in his pickup truck. He wanted to use my
cables but I told him that, being unshielded cables, they night be vulnerable to ignition noise. Turns out they worked just fine and he
was extremely pleased with them.
If Stager Silver Solids are intended to be used between your phono cartridge and phono stage, they may work fine - or,
due to the high gain of the phono preamp stage, they might be noisy. Generally, for this part of the system, a shielded cable is preferable.
Also, running a relatively heavy wire for the ground link is advisable, as it offers a path of lower resistance (than the interconnect) to the
ground terminal at the preamp and will also reduce noise. I can make a shielded cable for this purpose on special order.
There is a photo of just such a cable I made for an SME tone arm on the specs page.
Balanced or unbalanced?
For lengths shorter than, say, two meters, there will be little or no difference.
Longer lengths benefit from balanced cables' "common mode rejection", that is, noise elimination
by inverting polarity at the sending end then re-inverting at the receiving end so the signal ends up
the correct polarity but noise in the signal path (common to both terminals) is rejected by phase cancellation.
This is why long cable runs like mic cables and snakes (multi-cables from stage to mixing board) are
always balanced. Also, in the vast majority of pro gear used in studio installations where there are likely
to be hundreds of yards of cables and even tiny amounts of noise will add up.
Empirical Audio on balanced audio cables
Jung and Marsh stated that their tests showed that the use of multiple 24 gauge solid core wires in parallel was the best way to go.
This offered low capacitance with no phase or skin effect problems in or directly above the audible range.
When asked, "What is the real thing about using silver in audio chain?" Mark Levinson replied in this interview with monoandstereo.com :
"Silver is the best conductor of electricity. Laws of physics. But copper is more practical for speaker cables." Have a look, fascinating glimpse of an electronic genius and music lover.
For a speaker cable, using just one pair of 24 ga. conductors results in a noticeably lean tonal balance but grouping multiple light-gauge wire gives you
an even tonal balance without diminishing the desirable high-frequency performance advantages of thin gauge wires.
The most cost effective way of achieving this is using plenum type CAT5 or 6 Ethernet cable with pure copper solid wires in multiple pairs.
Uncompromising high-end caliber performance at a bargain price.